West Ham United landlord in two-week race to answer finances demand from City Hall budget chiefs

 
Oliver Gill
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West Ham pay an annual fee of £2.5m to landlords E20 (Source: Getty)

City Hall budget chiefs are demanding to see the finances of the owners of West Ham's London Stadium, as they grapple with mounting financial difficulties.

The London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee today issued a summons notice requesting the 2016/17 annual accounts for E20 Stadium LLP.

E20 – a special joint venture between London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and Newham Council – has been given two weeks to provide the documents.

“This company spends vast amounts of public money, and we know that it is in financial difficulty – but we have been prevented from seeing the accounts of E20 Stadium LLP. Why?," said committee chair and Tory assembly leader Gareth Bacon.

A spokesperson for LLDC said it and Newham Council were working closely with E20 "to address the long-standing financial challenges in the best interests of the residents of Newham and Londoners".

Locked out

Last month it was reported West Ham's landlords were on the verge of going bust, an event that could see West Ham locked out of their 66,000-seat home.

Sources told the Sun the only way of keeping E20 out of administration would be to increase West Ham's controversial £2.5m-a-year annual rent.

Read more: How delayed West Ham stadium overspend review could also go over budget

Bacon added:

The Assembly needs this information immediately, so we can assess whether this mayor is making the right decisions when it comes to the London Stadium and Olympic legacy.

The Assembly needs to do its job of scrutinising the issues that matter to London, unhindered.

The demands come as accountancy firm Moore Stephens is working against the clock to deliver a report into a £208m overspend on converting what was the Olympic Stadium for the Hammers. The then mayor Boris Johnson budgeted £115m for the conversion, a cost which ultimately rose £323m.

Moore Stephens was due to deliver the report to Mayor Sadiq Khan by June with it made public later in the summer. Khan has demanded the mid-tier accountancy firm delivers a draft to him by the end of November and asserted it "fully intend to publish their findings before the end of the year".

The LLDC spokesperson said: "A decision about the future of E20 and the Stadium will be made by the Mayor alongside the publication of the Moore Stephens review.”

Read more: Revealed: West Ham owners free to cash in on Olympic Stadium

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